As we pointed out here a few days ago, Lee Cutler won a landslide victory outside of NYC in the NYSUT election for Secretary Treasurer but he lost the election to Martin Messner because of the bloc of votes from NYC Unity bound by Michael Mulgrew to vote for Revive NYSUT. Cutler issued the following statement on Facebook at Stronger NYSUT. It is reprinted here in its entirety.
Message from Lee Cutler:
To All of Our Supporters,
The long campaign is over and Revive won this election. Many of you knew how the odds were against us in this race, but considering those odds, every Stronger Together candidate did extremely well and won support from an impressive number of delegates throughout New York State. I thank you for staying with us despite those odds. We all had confidence we could win and stayed in the fight until the bitter end.
While many of you are disappointed about the results, many good things came out of this campaign. Most important were the friendships and union relationships formed. Leaders and members who never knew each other before are now friends with other NYSUT members throughout the state.
These are friendships that will not end and these bonds will ensure that all voices will be heard in the years ahead and in that sense, NYSUT did grow stronger due to the work we did together.
Even before the campaign, I spent a good part of my time as Secretary-Treasurer traveling to all parts of the state getting to know you, your students, and your communities. For me, the campaign just gave me more opportunity to meet more of you and see more of your world. I consider myself lucky to have experienced every region of the state as I immersed myself in your cultures and your communities. I saw firsthand the local struggles you face and will never forget these struggles as I move forward in my career and do what I can to work for solutions.
The work we began together in human rights and social justice will not stop. I am sure NYSUT will always be a voice in that fight. And I personally plan to be a leader in the human rights movement and continue the work of engaging our students in this critical work. So thank you; thank you for your support. I don't say this lightly. I know we had to earn your support. I know you expected that we speak truth in order to receive that support and through your votes, I know that the viewpoints of all the Stronger Together Officers and At-Large Directors will be represented as NYSUT moves forward.
I wish the new leadership team the best of everything and offer them my support. The challenges public institutions face are huge and, New York State is still led by a governor who thus far has done everything in his power to weaken K-12 schools and our higher education institutions. Along the way, he has attacked unions and our pensions and has turned his back on health care institutions. It is my hope that the new leadership team will hold this governor accountable for the policies already in place that are harming all of us and the institutions that we value most.
As an officer you welcomed me into your homes and communities and an election does not mean that those friendships have to end. For that reason, it would be an honor to stay in touch with you. My new email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm sure our paths will cross again and that like me, I am certain that you will be unionists who really believe we are stronger together.
All the best and in solidarity,